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The Woodworking Blogs Aggregator

An aggregate of many different woodworking blog feeds from across the 'net all in one place!  These are my favorite blogs that I read everyday...


Happy Diwali

The Indian DIY & Woodworker - 26 min 46 sec ago
Greetings friends, visitors, fellow DIY woodworkers and hobbyists!
Diwali is a special time of the year - a time to get together with friends and near ones, celebrate our good fortune and light up the world with good wishes and offerings of thanks.

With Diwali Presents
This is also the time to give presents to people we come in contact with throughout the year - and also to get presents!

This year we got boxes of cakes, cermaic mugs and steel bowls for our maids, the gardener, the street cleaners, the garbage collectors and postmen. My wife got a few DVDs and I got a load of tools.

The most expensive buy was a Bosch cut off saw for cutting metal - I had this on my list for many months because I plan to cover my first floor terrace with metal roofing on a steel framework. The list price of the saw is more than 13,000 rupees but I got a deal for Rs 7,500.

The other goodies include a Mitutoyo Vernier Caliper, a Stanley smooth cut general purpose saw, a couple of Stanley metal working files, a holesaw and some paint brushes.

As you can see I am mighty pleased with the Diwali goodies.

Write in with details of what you bought this Diwali - and happy tidings to all of you.
Don't fortget to light candles and oil lamps, and keep your door open all evening to let in good fortune.

May the Goddess Lakshmi shower blessings on you!

Indranil Banerjie
22 October 2014

Categories: Hand Tools

Kerfing Plane – a Little Carving

Bob Easton - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 5:51pm

“Hey, aren’t you done with that thing yet?” You know I can’t make something without a carving decoration.  So…

photo of carving on the fenceHere’s the harder one first. Carving straight lines along the grain line is harder than carving curves. While I’m never satisfied with a carving, this one is done enough to set aside and wait for its partner.

It’s all Shannon’s fault. During his review of a Bontz saw, he mentioned an Art Deco feature in how the saw’s back was shaped. That sparked an old interest and I was off to re-explore the genre and come up with a couple of designs.

The curvy one is next. And yes, I’ll cut a saw plate some day.

Categories: Carving and Sculpture

Rockville, MD Carving Class

Mary May, Woodcarver - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 5:06pm

Mary May - Woodcarver

Last week I taught two, 1-day beginning classes and a 2-day intermediate class at The Woodworker’s Club in Rockville, MD. Such a great group of people there – both the people that work at the store and the students. I really had a wonderful time. The students worked through some very challenging projects – and some tough wood (sapele and walnut) and had great success (and fun!).

It took me nearly a week to get caught up when I got back home (thus no blog posts), but I’m back! Going to spend the next few days doing a LOT of carving. Yeah!

Such concentration!
Camellia carving
That good ol' reliable camellia flower - beginning class.
Diligently working!
Oscar working on his linenfold carving
Delicate carving on a rosette.
More rosette carving
Acanthus leaf and rosette

Wooden Straight Edges

Brokeoff Mountain Luthierie - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 4:57pm
It is not advisable and can even be dangerous, to entrust someone else with the search for a fiancee, the purchase of a pair of shoes or the choice of a guitar.

Jose Ramirez III, Things about the Guitar, 1990

I didn't get everything done today that I wanted to get done, but I did get started on a few things.

After morning chores, I took the dogs for a walk through our wonderful backyard, which is part of Arapahoe National Forest, and then started making legs for a router table. I have about ten windows (6-9 pane) to make before the end of December and I am not about to plane all the muntins, rails and stiles by hand, I have an expensive router bit for that.

I got the legs glued up, went for a 2.5 mile run and had lunch. The afternoon, I thought, was going to be dedicated to working on a copy of a 1968 Hernandez y Aguado classical guitar, click here for a post on that guitar, I need to thickness the fret board and glue it onto the neck.

First thing I wanted to do was to check to make sure the gluing surface of the neck was still straight, and, as usual, I once again discovered that my 24 inch long Lee Valley straight edge is too long to check the neck. One end of the straight edge ends up on the guitar body which has dome to it so the straight edge won't sit flat. Duh.

The answer was to make a straight edge. If you don't already have Chris Schwarz's article on how to make such a beast, click here and take a gander at how to make a wooden straight edge.

I wanted to use some mahogany that I have, but it isn't quartered well enough. Once again, it was California laurel to the rescue.

The straight edge that I needed most was this one - 16 inches long to check where the fret board will sit. I should have made it 17 to 17 1/2 inches long.

I had a 10 inch piece left over which will be perfect for checking the other side of the neck.

I love California laurel, I wish had some more. It has a wonderful smell, is very easy to work with and makes incredible sounding guitars. I suppose I ought to order a few laurel boards from Gilmer Wood or Northwest Timber.

The fret board will have to wait until next weekend, tomorrow is back to work at my day job.

Here's another YouTube of Leonora Spangenberger.

Categories: Luthiery

Harvest Days and Nesting

The Workbench Diary - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 3:48pm
We have been blessed with a decent harvest this year. The past few years our gardening efforts have been combined with Julia’s parents. We try to grow enough for both families’ yearly vegetable needs. Typically her father does the early season tilling and planting and we end up with the harvesting and processing. This year has brought a lighter load than usual due to the pregnancy.


Our meatbirds are processed and resting in peace in the freezer now. I always feel so relieved when slaughter day comes. It’s the last week when I have trouble sleeping. Those last nights are filled with nightmares of coons or weasels breaking into the chicken house and annihilating our investment. Thankfully, we again had no problems with predators. 


On Saturday we dug potatoes. Eden swore he was a pirate digging for treasure. Five year olds seem to need work to be made into a game in order to get anything accomplished. We’ll take what we can get.






Julia's mother helped out too





In other news, Mama is bursting at the seams. Little guy is pretty active in there. (Go figure.) Even though we have until Thanksgiving until she’s due, we are keenly aware of the surprise we felt when Eden came five weeks early. We won’t be blindsided this time. We’re cleaning up the house and reorganizing things to accommodate for the new guy. One of the pressing things on my list is to finish up the co-sleeper cradle I started at Leonard’sMills a couple of weeks ago.


I adapted a number of period cradle designs to suit our purposes here. In the studio, I got the corners dovetailed and cut out the scroll work. My newly completed Gramercy turning saw worked wonderfully for this task. 






After clean up with chisels and a spokeshave, I popped the pieces together and brought it home to see it in place. I want to make sure it works out before I proceed with the bottom and the legs. I think we may have a success here because our cat, Garbanzo, bee lined for the mattress and settled right in. I hope the baby feels as at home in it as he does.

Categories: Hand Tools

Chevalet Status Update

McGlynn On Making - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 2:37pm

The front upright is mostly done!  Huzzah!

Finishing this part meant I I had to jump ahead and start making the cross arm that will support the saw mechanism so I could get the notch in the clamp mechanism the right size (ish).  That’s done, and I’m ready to move on to completing the arm mechanism.

I roughed out this cut-out by first drilling a 1.5" hole and then bandsawing into it.  After this picture I got my rasp out and smoothed it out.  The idea of this cut out is to trap parts that fall out of the back of the marquetry packet before they fall on the floor and disappear.

I roughed out this cut-out by first drilling a 1.5″ hole and then bandsawing into it. After this picture I got my rasp out and smoothed it out. The idea of this cut out is to trap parts that fall out of the back of the marquetry packet before they fall on the floor and disappear.

Then I laminated on the side blocks.  I used Old Brown Glue for this, to avoid messing with the finish.  After the glue was dry I planed the surfaces level.

Then I laminated on the side blocks. I used Old Brown Glue for this, to avoid messing with the finish. After the glue was dry I planed the surfaces level.

Then I fit the fron clamping block, and drilled the holes for the bolts.  The plans only call for two bolts, so I made a trip to the HW store for extra bolts.

Then I fit the fron clamping block, and drilled the holes for the bolts. The plans only call for two bolts, so I made a trip to the HW store for extra bolts.

I knifed in the square nuts on the back.  There can't be any protrusions on the back because it would interfere with the marquetry packet, so these will have to get recessed.

I knifed in the square nuts on the back. There can’t be any protrusions on the back because it would interfere with the marquetry packet, so these nuts will have to get recessed.  

I counterbored the holes with a 3/4" forstner bit, then chiseled the walls square.

I counterbored the holes with a 3/4″ forstner bit, then chiseled the walls square.  This was fun!

With the nuts recessed I was in the mood for a test assembly so I could see some progress.  I’m going to attack this with a round over bit later and knock those sharp edges off.

Dry fit

Dry fit

I need to trim the bolts a little bit, about half an inch, so they don't protrude.

I need to trim the bolts a little bit, about half an inch, so they don’t protrude.

Categories: General Woodworking

The Return of the Lighthearted Woodworker

The Light Hearted Woodworker - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 2:07pm

It’s been quite some time since I’ve posted!  It’s been a pretty intensely busy year filled with lots of adventures. So forgive me if I haven’t taken a breath to blog about them.

So what’s been keeping me so busy? 

- Well for one my wife and I, along with our very close friends, opened a cheese shop on Labor Day. Signed a lease June 1st and I spent the summer being a carpenter and general contractor in order to transfer the space from a clothing store to a cheese shop. More on that in a future post.

-Work– just like the rest of you– I have have a day job, that often turns into a night job


But I have managed to get some woodworking time in:

- I built most everything in our shop: reclaimed wood walls, stud walls, counters, shelving, butcher blocks, doors, etc . etc., etc

-I finished a tool box I had started in a  hand tool class

-a couple of never ending shop projects

-just last week took a field trip to the George Nakashima house with the NYC Woodworkers guild

-finally a good shop cleaning!!

In my travels for the cheese shop……

-I found an awesome old tool chest that I plan to use in our apartment

-found a Stanley #50 1/2 mitre box for $10 that I plan to restore.

- picked up a great old tool box on the streets of Brooklyn that I now use to store all my chainsaw parafanalia down in the yard.

- went dumpster diving in Brooklyn and found some great old Douglas Fir beams.

- scored some beautiful reclaimed barn wood from a friend.

I’ve decided I would like a small bench in Brooklyn, to satisfy my woodworking cravings during the week. So I’ve been designing and started building a joinery bench. So look for more on that.

So life is full, and never dull. 

Look for more here– The Lighthearted Woodworker has returned.

Categories: Hand Tools


Hackney Tools - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 1:52pm

The jury’s out on this one. A weird Preston plane with a curves like Jane Russell. Rare? Know more?

Categories: Hand Tools

Looking for inspiration

Kees - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:52am
Last week I got a nice board of cherry, and wanted to make another box from it. But I changed my mind. We need a new medicine cupboard for the bathroom, so why not from this board? I really like that 17th century style of carved stuff at the moment, so I looked around for examples of small cupboards. One type is exactly what I am looking for: spice cabinets! At that time, spices were new, hip and expensive. So when you could afford them, you'd like to present them in a favorable manner. That's when the spice cabinet, box or cupboard appeared on the market. A small cupboard, usually with some kind of embellishement like carvings or mouldings. Inside the cupboard you would find small drawers. These cabinets were often very simple, so called boarder furniture. No fancy joinery, just nails. Here are some examples I found on my travels across the internet.

Later, in the 18th century, these cabinets became much more elaborate, just like most furniture. Personally I like the style of the earlier times like in the pictures above. It fits my modest needs a lot better then some miniature high boy:


I am not going to make a direct copy of one of these little cabinets, because the situation demands a slightly different shape and size. I am also not sure about all these drawers, however much I like them, they take up too much space inside the cabinet. So, not quite sure what I am going to make yet, but I am sure that I'll be strongly influenced by this style.

Categories: General Woodworking

Mere Mortals’ Toy Chest for Woodworkers Fighting Cancer

Matt's Basement Workshop - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:49am

Because having options on any project (especially one designed as a build-along for charity) is a good thing, I wanted to share with you another very similar version of the toy box being built for the Woodworker’s Fighting Cancer campaign going on right now.

charity toy chest

Image courtesy Woodworking for Mere Mortals

Steve Ramsey of Woodworking for Mere Mortals has a version he posted the other day on his YouTube channel. It’s very similar, but as always, Steve puts his own twist on it and presents it as an alternative version to build.

According to Steve “it’s simple: all you need to do is make a toy box. It would make a great holiday gift, or you might consider building one and donating it to a local school or organization. Marc and I are each donating $5 for every box viewers make before November 30th.”

“The only thing we ask is that you make either my box, or use Marc’s design. They each have unique features. Take a picture and submit it to the Woodworker’s Fighting Cancer page.”

In addition, if you really want the actual chest you see Steve building, you can get in on the auction to purchase it. More details about that by visiting his webpage for the toy chest by clicking here.

Regardless of which version you choose to build, the only important thing is that you get involved in one way or another. This year’s goal is to raise $15,000. I have all the confidence in the world that will happen and then some.

Help support the show – please visit our advertisers

Categories: Hand Tools

The Highland Woodworking Fall 2014 Open House: A Review

Highland Woodworking - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:47am

This weekend I had the pleasure of attending the Highland Woodworking Open house and Hand Tool Extravaganza. The event was an enormous amount of fun. A whole bunch of woodworking knowledge was passed around, stories were told, and a bunch of wood shavings were made. There were some great woodworkers in attendance, including Scott Meek, Chris Kuehn, Frank Klausz, Curtis Turner, and more.

openhouse1I was able to swing by the store on Friday and got to meet some of the folks that were in attendance while the store was not quite as full; in the late hours of Friday evening after work I was able to meet Frank Klausz for the first time. Frank is a wonderful fellow filled with fantastic stories about woodworking and about his life. I also got to watch as Frank tried out some of Scott Meek’s wooden hand planes. Frank set and worked the planes with the hands of a true master of our craft and I could tell that Scott was a bit nervous to have such a woodworking luminary using his tools, maybe wondering what would Frank have to say about the planes. After making a few passes with some of the planes, Frank had nothing but glowing reviews of Scott’s work. He complimented Scott on his fine hand tools and even remarked that he had made a few wooden planes in the past, though none of them were ever as fine and well-made as the ones Scott had on display. I would call this a ringing endorsement, especially for Scott’s class at Highland, on November 8th and 9th, where he will be teaching folks to make these wooden planes.



openhouse6After Frank left to get some dinner I spent some time talking with Curtis Turner, who was in attendance demoing some of the fine tools from Lie-Nielsen Toolworks. I have had my eye on a No. 62 low-angle jack plane for a while and so stood and spoke with Curtis about it. He let me try out the plane with both the toothed blade and the regular blade, and it confirmed what I thought about their tools. In my opinion, Lie-Nielsen tools are the best choice if you have the ability to buy them. Frank Klausz put it to me with a quote that I think sums up my own personal views on tools: “When you purchase a tool like a Lie-Nielsen hand plane, or other fine woodworking tool, you are not the owner; you are the custodian of that tool. Tools such as those are heirlooms that you will pass down through the generations. We do not own them, we hold onto them for the woodworkers that will come after us.”

I closed out my night on Friday wishing Scott the best and letting everyone know I would see them in the morning. When Saturday rolled around I was not quite as early as I wanted to be for the event but still got to spend a few hours hanging around the store and talking with folks. The event was great, Highland had a steady crowd of folks interested in the tools on offer. Frank almost always had a crowd around his bench as he demonstrated his dovetailing techniques and offered his woodworking wisdom. Chris Kuehn was there from Sterling Toolworks, showing off some of his fine tools and inviting people to try their hand with some of his pieces. Scott was making some pretty mean shavings with his hand planes and probably reduced a pine 2×4 down to next to nothing by the end of the day.



The crowd around the various Lie-Nielsen benches was thick and the planes saw a lot of use. I think everyone that got the opportunity to try out one of their fine tools left knowing exactly what you can do with a solid tool. I was personally able to pick up that No. 62 low-angle jack and brought it home to my shop after the event for a test run. It is a beautiful plane and I look forward to working with it on some upcoming projects.



The Highland Woodworking open house was a lot of fun, and a great way to spend a few hours this weekend. I learned quite a bit just standing in the room listening to various woodworkers talk. If you get the opportunity to come to the store for one of these events I highly recommend it. They are filled with people all interested in the craft that we love and the advice can’t be beat.

The post The Highland Woodworking Fall 2014 Open House:
A Review
appeared first on Woodworking Blog.

Categories: General Woodworking

Tapered Sliding Dovetails – 7 Drawer Dresser Project Continued

Heritage School of Woodworking Blog - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 10:20am

Read all about Frank’s dresser project progress.   Now that I have the whole dresser glued up, which by the way was a challenge! I glued up most of it with the help of my 9-year-old and then just in time, Jonathan Schwennesen came by the shop and offered me a hand to put some of […]

The post Tapered Sliding Dovetails – 7 Drawer Dresser Project Continued appeared first on Heritage School of Woodworking Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Routing the Past Developments

Paul Sellers - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 9:44am

DSC_0092In the process of answering the question on pointed router cutters we continued on to undo any misunderstandings surrounding these essential planes. The plane remains one of the most essential tools for hand tool woodworkers and woodworking. The poor man’s router of course leaves you fully equipped should you need one not costing a fortune and not own one, but adjustability of depth of cut provides an added advantage and of course it’s often here that legalists try to lay down the law with regards to which one everyone should buy. I looked through my routers and counted around 20 before I stopped. The school itself takes up half of those so I don’t feel bad at all. DSC_0063 DSC_0079I have bronze ones and brass ones, Preston and Tyzaks, Records and Stanleys and then wooden home mades and manufactured wooden ones made by planemakers of the past. Some you tweak-pinch with your fingertips and tighten with brass wing nuts and then others have micro-adjusters with screw stems and knurled nuts. Those I don’t own I have used at some point or at least tried. Fact is, I love router planes and can’t imagine life without them.

DSC_0108 DSC_0053 DSC_0061 DSC_0117

Modern makers have for the main part taken the basic shape of the old Stanley #71 and might be forgiven for then distancing themselves from creating an actual copy by changing some small features. The footprints of almost all the cast and engineered models is almost identical in shape and size and thereby are essentially the same as the old Stanley #71 and the Record #071. DSC_0080I have not found tighter tolerances in engineering to be of any great advantage, in fact, oftentimes the ‘stuck’ factor can be a little annoying and this is often due to those diminished margins. It’s a small thing to take a file and  fettle whatever’s needed. DSC_0083One router I like the most is the  Preston router of old, which was also made for a few years by Tyzak. I like the extra size of the platen and the positioning  and overall height of the  knobs, which gives optimal inline thrust directly at beside and at cutting iron level. That’s not too helpful because the prices have gone through the roof on eBay and anyone in bronze casting could make good money if they were to take that plane and replicate it. DSC_0010 DSC_0011 DSC_0008As can be seen here, almost all of the metal cast routers old and new use the Stanley mechanism which is a screw-threaded adjusting screw (C) that stands up from the cutter post (D) that then holds a knurled adjusting screw (C). Depending on the maker, the adjusting screw fits into a recess in the cutter (N) that lifts and lowers the cutting iron to the depth needed. A collar surrounding the whole assembly locks the iron to the cutter post. Dead simple and very effective. Until you get used to all metal routers they can seem a little awkward and especially so when it comes to loading the cutting iron into the collar and locating it into the screw nut adjuster, but you get used to it and so you load it more readily.

DSC_0010The Preston router presents the cutter to the wood from a square shank facing squarely to the work forward and so too both of the Lie Nielsen routers. More clearly, the stem of the cutter is square on and slots into vertical, forward-facing channels in the cutter post. This works fine as long as there is no slop in the engineering and of course Lie Nielsen are known for their tight engineering tolerances in making tools. My Tyzak has a little lateral play in the channel and though when locked it is immoveable, I must be conscious not to allow the cutter to misalign to the sole as this leads to slight steps in recesses I might be cutting as I move the plane across from side to side cuts. For dadoes this would generally be fine, but for inlays and such, where unevenness telegraphs through the thin veneer, it would not be acceptable. This leads me to a development in the Stanley version I think many might not see or understand at first glance. Veritas saw it and adopted it in their design. DSC_0017 DSC_0022 DSC_0086The cutting irons in the Record and Stanley models presents the stem of the cutter at 45-degrees and the advantage of this is the automatic locking of the corner of the cutter into a channel that always ensures a vertical alignment of the stem and thereby guarantees that the underside of the cutting iron, when sharpened accurately, aligns parallel to the sole of the plane. In the same way as fettling a regular plane iron or chisel needs flattening and polishing out only once, so too the cutter for the router. Any subsequent sharpening is usually done on the bevel alone. Working the bevel evenly and carefully presents the cutting iron parallel to the surface and it’s here that I would stress the value of taking care not to tilt the iron on the bevel as this alters the alignment of the very cutting edge in its presentation to the surface of the wood.

DSC_0092 2

It stands to reason that you cannot present the cutter to the work without a relief on the underside of the cutter. If the underside were level it would ride the surface of the wood. Stanley and Record have quite an angle here. DSC_0071 DSC_0065 2 DSC_0059Others are less.

DSC_0077 DSC_0080 2

Because of the relief, the front cutting edge of the cutter is affected by the top bevel of the cutter, so too much tilt lifts or lowers one side of the actual cutting edge. If we could present the underside of the cutter squarely and parallel to the underside of the plane to the surface of the wood we could skew all we want  and not affect the presentation.

The best way to level the top bevel of the cutter is to start with the underside of the cutter first. Load the cutter into the plane and set the iron as close to level with the sole. We want a fractional protrusion of a thou or so. Though it is not necessary at all, if you are bothered that the surface could be marred, and mine have never been thus affected straight on the abrasive, use masking tape to cover the sole as a barrier if it worries you. Or you could put card stock on the abrasive too.

Here I first offered the plane blade to the wood so that I could check for the alignment of the blade to the sole. You can see that the blade takes a deeper cut on the right.


I now take the plane and place it carefully on the abrasive plate, in this case diamonds, and swivel it lightly on the surface.


The goal is to provide a registration face to the underside of the cutter, just to use the light from abraded steel to act as a guide and not so much to reshape it unless it has been badly shaped before. As soon as the iron traces the abrasive, lift it from the surface and look at the underside of the cutter. A white line should appear on the cutter right by the cutting edge. If the line is narrow and parallel, the cutter is aligned well and presented correctly and all further sharpening and remedial work can be carried out. Notice in the picture above that the white lines of abraded metal reflect out of squareness in two directions. The actual cutting edge and the new minor bevel we created. This means that somewhere between these two lines is the square across point we want to abrade to.


Placing the underside on the abrasive will now flatten the surface dead flat and this can be polished out to say 800-grit.


Now it’s looking square.


Once this is done you must work on the top bevel only and it will not usually be necessary to work on the underside ever again. The top bevel is always awkward but holding the blade sideways and rubbing the bevel along the abrasive plate now refines the bevel and you can sharpen to any level you prefer. DSC_0032Most router work can be finished at 800-grit even for the finest work.


Testing out after this work is simply a question of working it on the surface if the wood.


Adjustment by adjusters and tap tapping

With regards to mechanical adjusters, it is always assumed that improved engineering and mechanical adjusters improved our lot, but more and more my experience has proven this not be true.

DSC_0008 DSC_0010

Mechanical threads do ease adjustment but pinched adjustment on some more primitive routers work just fine too.


You can pinch to a thou easily and in actuality I find they are equal to more elaborate routers.

DSC_0108 DSC_0112

The router referred to disparagingly as the ‘old woman’s tooth’ or ‘hag’s tooth’ is a router that houses a plough plane iron instead of a purpose made shoe-type cutting iron. Above is the one I first used as an apprentice and through my journeyman years. They work fine but rarely give the type of clean surface we might want for veneer inlay and so on. These are adjusted by the same hammer-tap tapping method used generally on wooden-bodied planes on the iron or plane body. These too are effective and practical in general carpentry and joinery.

The post Routing the Past Developments appeared first on Paul Sellers' Blog.

Categories: Hand Tools

Make Monster Dovetails

Popular Woodworking Editors Blog - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 8:43am

I have, inexplicably, received several questions over the weekend about cutting really big dovetails for workbenches, such as on a tail vise. That’s weird, given that most bench questions I get are about what kind of wood to use (whatcha got? use it), and how the LVL top is holding up (quite splendidly, but I’d not use LVL for a base again). Not to mention, we’ve not published a bench […]

The post Make Monster Dovetails appeared first on Popular Woodworking Magazine.

Categories: General Woodworking

Are You Tired of the Studley Tool Chest Yet?

The Barn on White Run - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 8:28am

Recently I was asked if I was ready to wash my hands of the Studley project, both the manuscript for the book VIRTUOSO and the upcoming Studley exhibit next May.  I had to think for a minute, because the truth is I am a bit weary from the pace of working around the homestead, wrapping up Roubo 2, and completing the Studley manuscript and making all the plans and arrangements for the exhibit.


But no, I am not tired of H.O. Studley.  How can you get tired of contemplating and exploring things like this?

Another STR Update

Benchcrafted - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 8:20am

Late last week the printers delivered the updated Split Top Roubo plans (they are beautiful) and we uploaded several updates to our downloads page. Here are the details.

Glide M/C Instructions and Crisscross instructions (click any of these for direct download)
As before, the installation instructions for the Glide M/C is the same document as the Crisscross instructions. We've updated the instructions and made clarifications to the templates (really just measured drawings) so those building a Split Top Roubo according the plans aren't confused by additional measured drawings at the end of the instructions.

Split Top Roubo Construction Notes
We've rewritten portions of the notes to further clarify the installation of the Crisscross. We've also added pictures of the new Glide M in a bench. Previous pictures showing the bench with a single-knob Glide are still there since we know some folks with those vises may have not started their builds.

Split Top Roubo eDrawing
The new eDrawing has also been uploaded for free download at any time. Yes, we get many requests for a Sketchup drawing of our bench. Sketchup is great, and we use it frequently, but the eDrawing serves its purpose allowing one to view the bench in 3d at your computer (the printed plans are what you want in the shop) And one huge feature that the eDrawing has over Sketchup is the ability easily view components as transparent without having to actually assign a transparent material to the component. Simply use the pointer tool, right click on a component and select "make transparent". Very useful to see exactly how everything fits together.

If you're building a Shaker bench, you can use the eDrawing to see how the Crisscross would fit in the "leg" of the Shaker bench. The dimensions will be a little different, but the configuration will be the same.

Categories: Hand Tools

Slow Furniture Movement

Northwest Woodworking - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:36am

Why not a slow furniture movement?

An early aphorism I placed in our literature was a quote from John Ruskin: “When we build, let us think that we build forever.”

This is a sentiment I am fully in support of particularly these days when you see a “modern” building go up and 5 years later, they’re replacing the siding on it. There’s quality today for you.

But one of my Mastery students quoted Ruskin in a different way that I think is equally valid. Perhaps you’ll agree:

When we build, let us think that it takes forever.

Weekend projects do seem to take on a half life of their own. Some of mine are decades long now. Sigh. I keep plugging away at it.

1-China cabinet GR


Categories: Hand Tools

Still kicking

Rundell & Rundell - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 7:31am
While most of you who may read the blog would have every right to think that I have fallen off the perch, I thought it best to set the record straight.

Apologies for the abrupt stop in posting the goings on 'round here, but the fact is the goings on have been such that it has not left any time for anything, inclusive of the blog. I've been trying to make amends to an extent by posting photos on Instagram ( which I am still a little unsure about…. ) but I know that doesn't reach everyone.

But I haven't been sitting on my hands. In fact I've been spending almost every waking moment out at the old house at Tylden, removing the termite infested detritus and 60 odd years of terrible additions and repairs and replacing it with a solid frame, new floors, new windows, doors, internal linings, plumbing, roof and the list goes on. The carpentry work being steered by the talented Peter Murphy, who you have probably seen on the blog playing his Uke or guitar, which he plays ( and makes ) with equal measure.

In amongst the works at Tylden, we've had the usual chair, stool, box ( assisted by Brodie Noor - more to follow about this talented person ) and bucket making classes and also a change of school for young Tom, who is now attending Tylden Primary, in readiness for our move into the old house hopefully before the end of the year. The bar and shop too, which are thankfully picking up speed again with the onset of Spring and warmer weather.

Then there's the Lost Trades Fair, which Lisa reminded me just today, is only about 20 weeks away, which may seem a long time, but I know will rush up on us quickly. Applications have been sent out to over double the participants we had at the Fair this year and with the addition of a good handful of kids activities and and other interesting bits and pieces, it's promising to be a great event next year.

So while I can't promise I'll be posting something every few days again, I will ensure that I'll be here more often. But as usual its 1.28AM and time to hit the hay, but stay posted, I'll be back soon.

The beginning

So far….

Categories: General Woodworking

How to Buy Hollows & Rounds Molding Planes

Wood and Shop - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 6:01am


In the above video I share the special moment when I opened my very first set of Hollows & Rounds molding planes. I want to walk you through the advice that I received on how to choose the right features when buying hollows and rounds.



Hollows and Rounds are molding planes that are used to cut moldings for furniture and architectural elements.


But they are the most pure way of cutting the moldings and the most versatile, because they (along with a rabbet plane) allow you to create and recreate any conceivable shape in the wood.


The below photo shows a “dedicated molding plane” (also called a complex molding plane). It is called “dedicated” because it can only cut one profile. This one is an “ovolo” shape. Hollows and rounds, on the other hand, can cut any shape that you can draw. You just remove one hill and valley at a time from the wood.



Hollows and rounds were made in numbered sets, with each number consisting of two handplanes (a pair). For example, a #12 pair would include one #12 hollow (that cuts 60 degree hills) and one #12 round (that cuts 60 degree valleys):


Every plane cuts 60 degrees of a circle, just a different sized section. Think of pizza slices; a large slice and a tiny slice have the same arc at the top.

A full set of hollows and rounds includes 18 pairs (36 total molding planes…wowzers!) numbered 1-18. My friend Bill Anderson recently purchased his first full set ever:


But most people that get a “set” will get a “half set”, which covers just about anything you would ever need to make. The most common half set is an “even numbered half set.” (pairs 2-18). “odd numbered half sets” are less common (pairs 1-17).


I really wanted an even “matched set”, which is a set that was all in an original set when it was made and didn’t get scattered over the years. But budget-minded woodworkers (good boys) can also purchase a “harlequin” set or a “mixed” set. A set that is all “harlequin” is a set where none of the planes came from the same original set. A “mixed set” contains some plains and pairs that were originally together, and also some “harlequin” planes. But of course, it isn’t necessary to have a matched set like mine. You just have to be careful that a harlequin set of hollows & rounds has an accurate transition because not all plane makers had the exact same sizes.



You can cut a whole lot of moldings with just a few pairs of hollows and rounds. Some experts recommend starting off with one or two pairs that fall inbetween sizes #4-#12. Matt Bickford is one of the few people who currently makes & sells hollows and rounds, and he’s the author or “Mouldings in Practice” (you can buy it here and download a free chapter here). He shared his recommendation here:

“…I often recommend starting with either pairs of 6s and 10s…or 4s and 8s…”.

Here is a video preview of his recent DVD called “Moldings in Practice” (yes, the same name as his book):

I purchased this DVD (from Lie-Nielsen here) and really found it incredibly helpful.

Matt wrote a great introductory article for Lost Art Press called “Moulding Planes: Where to Startthat you can read here. You can also see his lovely hollows & round sets here.

Matt also wrote this article “The Case for Hollows & Rounds” in Popular Woodworking Magazine.


But if you are on a tighter budget (can’t afford $3,750 for his half sets), you should purchase some antique hollows & rounds like me (see links at the bottom were you can find antique sets). But believe me, if I had more money then I would most certainly purchase a crisp new half set from Matt.



The angle at which the iron sits inside the plane, in relation to the horizontal workbench, is called “pitch”. Here are the following pitches that you’ll encounter in hollows and rounds molding planes:

  • “Common pitch” (45°): This pitch is like bench planes, and is more suitable for softwoods.
  • “York pitch” (50°): Works for woods that are inbetween soft and hard
  • “Middle pitch” (55°): ideal for a wider range of hardwoods.
  • “Cabinet” or “Half” pitch (60°): Good for very hard and difficult woods.


I followed the recommendation of some friends who suggested that I purchase a set of hollows and rounds that were either “cabinet pitch” or “middle pitch”. Funny enough, my set has 58° pitch, which is right in the center!



I purchased my hollows and rounds with skewed irons, because I want to be able to cut profiles all the way around a board (like on a table). But straight across irons also have their strengths. They cut a bit more cleanly when you are cutting along the grain. But I wanted to have more of a hybrid style that could cut both with the grain and across the grain.



If you have the time and interest to make your own hollows and rounds, then you’re in luck! Larry Williams released an excellent DVD called “Making Traditional Side Escapement Planes” which shows how to make hollows and rounds planes. You can purchase it from Lie-Nielsen here. See the preview of the DVD below:


Below you’ll find links to the best places to look for hollows and rounds (both sets and pairs), along with links to other resources:

I hope this has helped! You’ll see my set of hollow & round molding planes in plenty of future videos!


Put it on the Page

The Unplugged Woodshop - Tom Fidgen - Mon, 10/20/2014 - 4:03am
  Do you wish you met the goals you made for yourself more often? Would you like to stay motivated in order to do so? Do you want to finish every project you begin? Then put it on the page.     It isn’t magic...
Categories: Hand Tools


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